May 2003

Eli Alexander Brown


Eli Alexander Brown This marks an author's first online publication Eli Brown writes in Oakland, California where he is wrapping up his M.F.A. at Mills College. He is currently hard at work polishing a yet-to-be-titled novel about power, persuasion, and hunger.

Pelicans    Click to hear in real audio

I saw one yesterday
squatting near the water and thought:
That's what God looks like.
Head like a pick ax,
awkward as hell.

I thought of Ramone in sixth grade
with Down's Syndrome,
and a gentle sleepy look,
his hair perpetually mussed up
in the back.

they come down like meteors
exploding the surface
rooting the fish up,
dazed and quivering.

they sit silently as stones
until the schools come to rest
in their sheltering shadows.
Then, bowing and dipping
their long cool heads,
they scoop the little fishes
from the dark water
into the soft sacks of their mouths,
as if to say:
Rest here.



Obscenity    Click to hear in real audio

on an exhibition of medieval torture devices

          it was beautiful
                  the knobs
    of burnished brass
like freshly shaven heads
the way the light lit the iron
      a late afternoon glow
across the sharpened tops of trees
         the ranks of solid teeth
                   and the straps
   chapped like a peasant's hands

                                 Ezekiel in his ecstasy
                                 saw angels whose bodies
                                 were ingeniously
                                 wheels where their feet should be
                                 wings sprouting wings
                                 baroque frivolous
                                 and instead of eyes
                                 Saturn's rings
                                 whirling above their heads
                                 spinning with an impossible looking

         if you didn't know
if you didn't see right away
            its earthly use
                  you might think this chair
                             was for one of them





Eli Alexander Brown: Poetry
Copyright 2003 The Cortland Review Issue 23The Cortland Review